A Day At Union Station

No, I’m not talking about our union station. This is the title of a poem by Tiel Aisha Ansari, a poet I came across while searching for a contemprary poet for our project, I suppose you can call it. After sifting through much contemporary poetry, I found Tiel’s use of meter refreshing and the way she likes to layer her poems intriguing. Tiel is a bioligist, martial artist, and Sumi. I’ve noticed several of her poems are religiously themed but not in an overpowering way. This is evidenced by the fact that I, a tentatively self-proclaimed agnostic who is usually turned off by extremely religious media of any sort, am attracted and finding myself pleased by her poems, which deal with not only her religion but at least christianity as well, as far as I am aware. She keeps a blog called “Knocking from the Inside,” in which she responds to poem challenges that come from I don’t know where. Anyway, here is the poem:

A Day At Union Station by Tiel Aisha Ansari
At last, I’m leaving the familiar roof!
I’m undeterred by rain and wind.
This presentation should be quite a feather
in my cap. Eager, I clutch my ticket.
I’m going places. Not letting any grass
grow, not under these clever feet!

We admire one another’s tiny coral feet.
Coooooo, coooooo under the roof.
Picking spilled popcorn out of the grass,
we read the news written on the wind…
Freezing tonight? warmth, that’s the ticket.
We’ll huddle in the rafters and fluff our feathers.

My bags in my hands, as light as feathers.
Oh my aching back, tired feet…
I’ve grown to hate the sight of a ticket.
Just let me get back under my own roof.
I’m done with blowing about like wind–
time to stay home and mow my own grass.

Excuse me sir, please don’t walk on the grass.
I wish they cared, but they don’t give a feather.
I envy travellers, free as the wind.
They go where fancy takes them, rambling feet
The world to be their home, the sky their roof!
Oh, how I wish I could afford a ticket.

You breathe me out, wave me away with your ticket
I fall from the train stack to blacken the grass.
They scraped years of me from the bright copper roof.
I spread through the air like grey-white feathers.
Clever nets of me coil at your heedless feet–
but oh, I’m helpless prey for a gust of wind.

Brrr. It’s cold at this desk when the wind
blows– Thank you; here’s your ticket.
I had a little heater for my feet
but I was careless with the smell of burning grass
you know? Sorry, my head’s full of feathers.
Boring job, but it pays for my roof.

Unused tickets moulder in the grass.
Shed feathers scatter before the wind.
Echoes of hurried feet crowd the roof.

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